UN. FAO. Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.An insect that can infest and damage hundreds of hectares of maize fields, literally overnight, is sweeping across Asia – alarming smallholder farmers and threatening livelihoods – but the damage can be limited, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. Fall Armyworm is native to the Americas. However, since 2016 it has been aggressively moving ever eastwards, sweeping across Africa, and making landfall for the first time in Asia last summer. Fall Armyworm (FAW) was first detected in India in July 2018 and by January of this year, it had spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China’s Yunnan Province.
UN. Food and Agriculture Organization.The ongoing spread of wheat rusts, a group of fungal plant diseases that stymy the production of the staple grain and other crops, is raising concern in Central Asia and the Middle East and sparking closer international collaboration to study, detect and prevent the threat from advancing further.
Scientists Identify Biological Invasion Hotspots for Promoting the Green Development of the Belt and Road Initiative (Jan 25, 2019)Chinese Academy of Sciences.Recently, a team led by Prof. LI Yiming from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, conducted a comprehensive study evaluating the invasion risk of global alien vertebrates, to help facilitate the balance between development and conservation for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This study, published with the title of "Risks of biological invasion on the Belt and Road" in Current Biology, was online on January 24, 2019. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China is regarded as the biggest global development program ever to occur on earth. It involves nearly half of our planet across Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and America, covering 77% (27/35) global biodiversity hotspots. Its high expenditure into infrastructure constructions may accelerate trade and transportation and thus promote alien species invasions, which is one primary anthropogenic threat to global biodiversity.
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Special Note: Over 70 scientists from three major Russian institutions and the USDA closely collaborated on this project.